Within the last few weeks, my colleague Mark Burke conducted an exciting and fun two day camp for our Instructional Technology students focused on helping instructional designers become entrepreneurs. It was called Entrepreneurial Workshop for Instructional Designers. I was fortunate enough to observe the workshop.
The camp was wonderful, the students applied “thinking skills” to tackle the big idea of how to disrupt the instructional design process.
The workshop started with a discussion of sustaining vs. disruptive innovations in the field of instructional design. Mark ask the students to envision an instructional design product with no content…what would that look like, how would that work. Here is one of the articles the students read for the workshop.
Then entrepreneur Jan Bakker, the Co-Founder of QuizWorks discussed his journey to becoming an educational entrepreneur and how he quickly tests ideas and concepts to see if the potential buyer will but the idea or not…literally.
Then the agenda moved to a discussion of DSRP. It is a fascinating and motivating way to frame thinking and ideas. There is a lot to DSRP but here is a quick definition from Wikipedia, “DSRP is a theory and method of thinking, developed by educational theorist and cognitive scientist, Derek Cabrera based on his research at Cornell University. It is an acronym, standing for Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives.”
Next, Connie Malamed, the Founder eLearningCoach provided some insights into how she started the eLearningCoach web site (out of her own passion) and how she manages to work with clients, create innovative instruction and find time to speak at conferences and write books.
The discussion then turned to the typical business stuff, the Operational Processes: Filing, Naming, FedID, and Business Structures.
The second day opened with a discussion of learning companies and ways they can impact the future and what can be done to sustain innovation within the field of instructional technology.
We had a great presentation from Deborah Thomas of SillyMonkey who spoke about learning fast, remembering ideas and content and have fun doing it. She talked about how creativity is the key to everything, that our purpose should be to feel the pain of our customers and respond with help through creativity.
Then Jim Kiggens of 2KLearning talked about product development, commercializing learning ideas and how the “maker movement” is different from simply doing lab experiments. He talked about how the maker movement results in different outcomes and intense learning from the process rather than one single predictable outcome. He also discussed how creativity springs from a strong foundation of knowledge and the more you know about very different fields, the more creativity you can be.
The students then talked about the Serious eLearning Manifesto with Will Thalheimer who even wrote a blog entry about the use of the Manifesto to foster entrepreneurship titled Integrating the Serious eLearning Manifesto Into Our Work.
Mark then wrapped up the workshop with an engaging discussion of how to use DSRP to frame conversations, discussions and outcomes related to instructional technology and design as well as entrepreneurial activities.
Thanks Mark Burke for a wonderful workshop for our MSIT Instructional Technology students who are now better able to think about disrupting the industry and creating impactful companies in our field.
If you are interested in a similar workshop, let me know and I can put you in touch with Mark for a wonderful session.